The book publishing world is exploding with books. It has been for some time. Over 4,000 books are published every single day. That is almost three per minute, every single minute – day or night, holiday, work day, snow day, sick day, weekend. That number is sure to surge as we drift out of the pandemic and thrust into the Roarin’ ‘20s.
A little over a year ago, major publishers halted some book releases – delaying many, and cancelling others. Printing delays, closed book stores, a panic-stricken populace, and a crashing economy – all due to Covid – made major publishers and some authors slow down their rate of publication. But these books were already written. And authors, who had nothing to do but stay home and gain weight and watch Netflix, wrote even more books.
Now we have a glut of books to be unleashed, upon a public that is back on its feet, shopping again, and moving towards a hybrid version of normalcy. By the fall, when bookstore events and speaking engagements, resume, we’ll see a ton of books dumped onto the market. This holiday season, consumers will be overwhelmed by the choice in books available for purchase.
The book economy is booming. Book sales were up a healthy amount during the pandemic and as more bookstores open up, even more books are being purchased. But because so many books are being published – coupled with an enormous backlist of millions of available books – the average book sells far fewer copies today than its predecessor from a decade ago.
So, what does this mean for book publishers and authors? They will continue to produce more titles, sell more books, and see profit margins per book dwindle. Or maybe not.
Authors spend less money to print books now than they used to. Many can do economical small-print runs. A lot of presses and authors use print-on-demand, so they only print what is needed.
E-books, of course, have no print or return costs associated with them, so that saves publishers and authors money, too.
Books can make money in other ways than just being sold. They can have their rights sold – movie, film, theatre, audio, video, foreign. They can be used as a calling card to upsell a bigger, more expensive product or service, such as a course, seminar, or consultation.
A bigger concern than a market being flooded by books for sale is a market flooded with free books. So many books are given away for free, to help promote an author’s brand, induce word-of-mouth buzz, and to introduce a reader to an entire series that can be purchased. Though “free” makes sense for many individual authors, as a whole, it is going to injure the industry.
We can’t stop the addiction now, but if we are to grow the book industry’s profitability, fewer titles and fewer freebies may be the cure.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.
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